Knepp back for a third winter in Sussex

by Chris Heward, Wetlands Research Assistant

The latest bird to reappear is our Anglo-Finnish migrant, Knepp. Tagged at Knepp Castle, West Sussex, in March 2014, we’ve now followed Knepp’s migration to central Finland twice.


Knepp was still on the Finnish breeding grounds on the 19th October but was back at his/her traditional wintering site in Sussex by the 5th December. Unfortunately the tag sent no location data between these two points, so we are unsure of the exact timing and the return routes used.

It seems unlikely that Knepp arrived at Knepp Castle this weekend as that would have meant struggling against incredibly strong head winds from the South West. It is more likely that Knepp has been back in Sussex for a short while but transmission has been delayed by a flat battery.

In fact, it seems unlikely that any woodcock at all would be inclined to cross from the continent this weekend with Storm Desmond creating such dangerous conditions. None of east coast bird observatories have reported woodcock in the past 3 or 4 days.

Please help our declining UK woodcock


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